Finding Michigan Film.
Last weekend I decided I wanted to move forward with making a film about Michigan’s wildlife, nature, and things not everyone can see everywhere.
Michigan holds some of the greatest places for sightseeing to wildlife viewing. Bald Eagles, Cougars, and even Wolves have been rising in sightings, and soaring of the endangered list. Though some may be impossible to find specially cougars, and wolves, but they are still here. Some of you may know that I have been searching for Bald Eagles for a while now, and have not been so lucky; though I feel my time is comming, and I am more confident then ever.
Just last month there was a Bald Eagle in St. Clair, Michigan. The women who spotted it took some good pictures of it as well, and it gave me this urge to push forward with this film.
What got me started!
Last January I was at work fueling trucks, and it was around two in the morning when I saw what looked to be a Cougar walking along the railroad tracks. Crazy sounding I know, specially being in a Marysville Michigan with lots of housing and a golf course close by. The body, and mostly the long tail was unmistakable. It was only a month after I saw this sighting there were a few sightings in Ann Arbor Michigan right by the University of Michigan. Also, there were a few other sighting claimed after that which made me wonder if it was the same Cougar. After that, I became addicted and wanted to see one for myself. This stuff has really interested me, and nature was really what I started out wanting to do in filmmaking.
I remeber what film I watched that got me into filming too, and for the record I was probably 5 or 6 years old, but it was “Wild America” with Johnathan Taylor Thomas. Haha. I admit that because I was young, but that movie inspired me to want to film wildlife. It does freak me out s little because you never know what could happen, but I have been trying to learn about these animals, so I know what to do if I get myself intoca bad situation.
I have a few projects I have been trying to kick into gear like my Online Film Festival I want to start, but I just don’t have enough people interested in it yet, and don’t want to job in it to soon. I have a short film project I’m working on for school but that is still in development right now, and Finding Michigan I am going to start at the end of October when I go to Mackinac City Michigan. Hopefully, I’ll get some Eagle footage, and some great time-lapse of the milky way. Most of the budget will be out of pocket, but I am thinking of trying to raise money through crowdfunding, and offering perks for others who may want to join me in the filmmaking process. I am still working on different ideas for perks, and how to get people interested specially those who don’t live in Michigan.
I know getting into any industry is hard, and that’s why I want to reach out, and help people who just want to have a reason to film. I love just to have a reason to turn on my camera and start filming, and if life wasn’t all about money then I would have no problem working for free. Unfortunately, we live in a world where money is the way of survival, and life. I will update soon on my progress. Thanks for all the support.
When it comes to doing a project with no script, and no way of knowing how something will play out like doing a wedding, I think it is best to try and prepare for any situation. The one thing I like to do, and I do this when I know I am going to be shooting outside is to always be checking the weather. Being that this is my first wedding, I have been preparing for it for about a month now trying to minimize any issues I may run into. No mater how prepared you think you are, you will still find an issue you will have to work around, but planning can make issues easier to deal with.
The first thing I think is important is to create a check list. Write down every single piece of equipment you have even if you know your not going to use it. If it helps, take a picture of every piece of equipment. To have a way of keeping track of your inventory is always going to benifit you.
Keep things organized! Find a way to keep things in places that are easy to find. Create folders on your computer for your when you start post-production. Create scene folders, and folders for b-roll footage.
The next thing I want to mention is communication with your client. Make sure you have good directions, and find out if the event will be inside, or outside. This will insure you have the necessary gear to execute your shoot day. This may even give you info on what you may need to purchase like filters for outside, or camera lights for inside.
What time does the event start, and what time are you going to show up. Plan for the worst traffic, trains, or accidents that will cause you to be late. You may want to be there an hour early to get some b-roll footage, and to setup all your gear you will be using.
I am going to the rehearsal on Friday, and this will give me a look at possible shooting spots, gear setup, and audio setup. The couple that is getting married is having their ceremony in a park, so I know audio may be an issue. I’m going to have two camera’s both recording audio, and if I there are plug-ins then I will use my wireless audio device, and hook a mic to the groom.
The last thing I would like to mention is to make sure you have enough tape, or memory card space; also, you want to be sure you have enough battery power. I baught an extra memory card and I got two more batteries with a car charger off Amazon. It helps to write your pre-production procese down, and either a journal, or a blog like I am doing because it can make you think of ways to better prepare yourself, or bring up things you may have forgotten.
Until next time..
On August 24th I will be doing my first gig as a wedding videographer. I am actually pretty excited about doing it, and hope everything turns out fine. For if being my first gig I offered my services for free, because I don’t feel comfortable charging for something I have never done before. I threw up a post on Craig’s List, and was contacted pretty quick, so I’m glad I decided to go that route. Hopefully, I can use this wedding to help build more clients. I typed up a release form to get permission to use parts of the wedding video to help promote my work, and I asked her first instead of waiting until the wedding day so I know she is okay with it.
I will be adding updates as I prepare for the wedding. I will post my process on my pre-production, production, and post-production.
Today I will begin production on a three minute silent film for school. Pre-production is almost done, and all I want to do before I start shooting is set up the lighting, and do some test shots. I probably won’t start shooting until 8pm tonight so I will have plenty of time to plan all my shots. I have one scene I know will be difficult to shoot, because it will be in a very tight space, but hopefully I can pull it off. I will add photos later as I start setting up.